The hardest thing in prepping is to start. I still consider myself new to the whole mindset of prepping even after 2-3 years and it never ends. There is more to do and more to learn. I know I have gained great respect for folks that are mostly self- reliant as well as the ability of an average midevel village to provide most of the items needed to survive.
I think I know why in the USA that we focus so much on food as preppers as you can see if you are making progress. I think it’s a mindset that we tend to value what we can buy rather than what we can make. Though I think that mindset is changing slowly as we are not simply consumers but full human beings and we all have value if only to ourselves. I know 3 -5 years ago I’d would not have thought about trying to snake my drain to clear a clog. If Drano didn’t work it would be time to call Daddy or a plumber, pay some cash and make the problem go away. I’m not knocking my Dad or plumbers as I’m very impressed with the skill they have but I bet they get a bit tired of being called out over a simple problem that most folks could take care of themselves with a couple of tools. I know I feel that way when I’m asked to work on a PC, most problems are fairly simple and could be fixed with just a little knowledge and basic preventive maintinence.
I know while I was clearing that clog I was about at the limit for the 15 foot snake I borrowed and I relly needed to blow out the pipes even though I cleared the clog. Plus having the pipes good and clean makes things work better in the long run. I need to fix a toilet as it wants to run water in the tank and the shut off valve is a joke. Now I will call Daddy after I get all the parts and actually repair the toilet guts. The water running is a bad cost on my water bill. The tank and toilet are the larger size and create a good flush and it just the cheap plastic guts that are the problem as well as the shut off valve being bad. It will cost a bit for the parts but I want good valves I can count on for the house. This a bit more complicated than the clog problem and will have to shut off a house main or the water main to fix. I don’t really know that much about adding in a water valve properly to do it on my own. Besides I need to learn about water mains and stuff anyway. Theory is one thing practice is another.
You will need to be able to do a more yourself and use the pros when you have a project that you can’t do on your own. Having tools and the parts already to hand can make everyone’s life easier. I’m not talking about having all the parts to back up your home, but having some basic tools some standard size pipe, valves and some items as multi-taskers stored may not be a bad idea. You won’t become a contracter but being able to patch and make do for a month or two may save you a bit of money or at least get you to your next paycheck so you can have work done properly.
One thing to do is always tell your repair person what you have already done and keep notes. This will save both you and them time as they will move on in troubleshooting from your start. If you have screwed up they can also tell you what you may have done wrong or at least out of order. You can get your back up or you can learn from everything. I know I annoy the crap out of PC support sometime cause I screw with the “Idiot Checklist” and tell them all I have already done to fix a PC. Actually it’s kind of fun as you get to see who knows repair and who is reading a script and really does not know what they are talking about.
I build PCs for fun and as a hobby when I can afford it. I know my stuff basically around a PC and I worked tech support in the Army and as a civillian. I can tell folks how to build a PC from the ground up as far as hardware goes and what they want a PC to do. It’s not pride or arrogance that I do it well. Heck I’ve taught folks to build PC’s via email and the telephone. Mostly gaming PC’s to get the most bang for the buck. I’m a bit weak in software and programming but hardware I’m dang solid.
So I have my skillset and I my be a bit weak on implementing them all. But I buy tools that others can use as well as help me out. It’s not really a big deal if you are aware. I took over a little bit of ground cloth to protect a neighbors plants. Perhaps it will work but pay attention and work to help each other. This part of prepping is not a competition save that for the beer making and produce taken out of the garden. This isn’t a game or a MMO were you can buy gold that others have mined. You will not be able to buy your way out of it and you need skills and other folks skills. Cultivate those skills,build your tribe and or clan and welcome others and or alliances. Yes it’s retrograde but your IPAD or Iphone won’t help you to survive. Folks that know how to grow food, make clothes and repair stuff will…..